As the University, in alignment with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Nodaway County Health Department and other public health agencies, actively monitors the COVID-19 pandemic, this webpage provides broad information and answers to frequently asked questions related to Northwest's operations.
Updates and information are provided as they become available. Additional information specific to an academic or service area at Northwest may be obtained by using contact information provided in University directories.
For other information specifically related to COVID-19 and its impacts on your health, visit the CDC's FAQ page.
Additional mitigation measures include:
Seating is reduced and set to accommodate social distancing. Two traffic ways are set up for ordering – one walkway for Chick-fil-A guests and one walkway for Einstein or Zen guests.
Additional mitigation measures include:
Disposable to-go containers will be provided upon request to all guests. First-year freshmen and transfer students will be provided with a free reusable to-go container, which also will be available to purchase for $7 at Bearcat Commons registers.
To reduce the risk of cross-contamination, employees will plate the student’s chosen food items, hand the plate to the student, and the student will be responsible for placing the food into the to-go box.
According to the Nodaway County Health Department, 172 individuals residing within the county have tested positive for COVID-19 to date since the first confirmed case was reported April 2. Of those individuals who have tested positive, 108 are no longer in isolation.
Northwest is providing Bearcat Logo face coverings to all employees and students. These face coverings are made of cloth and are washable for reuse.
Students who are employed on campus or living on campus may pick up one face covering, starting Aug. 1 at The Station between noon and 5 p.m. daily. Any student employee who needs a face covering prior to Aug. 1 should contact their supervisor to obtain one.
Beginning Aug. 13, any Northwest student may receive a face covering when picking up a laptop. Residential students also can receive their face covering during move-in days.
Northwest requires all students, employees and visitors to wear a face covering in areas where social distancing cannot be maintained. Individuals may choose their own face covering, which should be, at a minimum, made of a cloth material, such as a bandana, scarf, neck gaiter or a homemade face covering. Visit //www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prevent-getting-sick/diy-cloth-face-coverings.html to learn more about the importance of face coverings and on how to create your own.
Northwest will require all students and their guests to wear face coverings.
To allow all students to move in safely, Northwest has added days to its move-in schedule, which will take place Aug. 13-18. Students should sign up for their move-in time, which will allow Northwest to regulate the number of students moving into a floor or building at one time.
Northwest expects the sign-up process to be ready by July 20, and students will receive the information in their Northwest email account.
Student organizations may meet after July 15 and are expected to implement and maintain Northwest mitigation measures, which include, at a minimum, maintaining 6 feet of social distance from others and wearing a face covering. Common areas, such as the J.W. Jones Student Union, as well as hallways, common work spaces, meeting rooms and classrooms, will require students to wear a face covering regardless of social distance.
While Northwest advises student organizations to use Zoom or similar platforms for meetings, groups may choose to meet in-person if they can maintain appropriate social distancing and wear face coverings.
Events or activities that draw more than 250 participants or more than 10 high-risk participants and cannot be modified due to time or resource limitations must be canceled or postponed.
Students and faculty should follow mitigation guidelines, which require the wearing of face coverings and maintaining social distance.
Northwest will not add costs to students for mitigation measures, except where personal protective gear may be required above and beyond what is provided.
Northwest is not issuing building capacity occupancy limits at this time.
Individuals are expected to maintain 6 feet of social distancing to the fullest extent possible and are required to wear a face covering when social distancing cannot be maintained.
Safety is and will continue to be an individual responsibility. At the same time, the University has a responsibility to provide a safe and healthy environment for students, employees and visitors.
All individuals on campus will be expected to adhere to Northwest mitigation measures, which include social distancing and the wearing of face coverings.
Some individuals may need to take additional precautions based on their own unique circumstances.
Northwest is requiring all individuals to wear face coverings inside University facilities at all times except:
Northwest is providing reusable, washable cloth facial covering to students and employees. The University recommends all individuals have at least one additional face covering.
The appropriate use of face coverings is critical to minimize the spread of COVID-19 to others. Wearing a face covering not only protects you; it is us collectively protecting one another.
Residents and guests will be required to wear face coverings in all common space, including hallways, elevators, stairwells, lounges, restrooms and laundry rooms. All residence hall staff will wear face coverings in common areas or an enclosed spaces with a student, such as an office.
Desk supplies will remain available but must be cleaned by users after each use. Cleaning supplies will be provided.
Furniture will be spaced in lounges to allow for socially distanced seating.
Non-Northwest guests are not allowed to visit residence halls. Students should meet their guests outside or in another space.
Elevators will be limited to three people at a time, except during move-in days when one family unit will be allowed at a time in the elevator.
Programming will be provided with mitigation measures in place.
Students who have medical conditions that make them vulnerable and need special accommodations, such as a private room, may contact the Office of Accessibility and Accommodations.
Additional cleaning and hand sanitizers will be provided in common areas.
Roommates and suitemates should establish their own mitigation rules for their room, suite or apartment.
If you become aware your roommate was tested for COVID-19, one of you will need to move out of the living space until the test results return. If one of you cannot move out, avoid sharing a bedroom and bathroom.
If the test results return positive for your roommate, you will be contacted by Wellness Services and/or the public health department for contact tracing. If you are determined to be a contact, you will be given guidance from Wellness Services on what to do next.
If you are not contacted, additional precautions are not necessary.
Meetings, events and other activities where mitigation measures cannot be maintained should be canceled, postponed or conducted virtually. These activities include off-campus events and events with food or drink.
For additional information or assistance, contact Assistant Vice President of Student Affairs Dr. Kori Hoffmann at email@example.com.
The following links provide information about testing sites in the four-state region. If you reside outside the four-state region, check with your local or state health departments for testing information.
Per CDC guidelines, anyone arriving to the U.S. from an international location should quarantine for 14 days. Public health officials also recommend that individuals quarantine after domestic travel.
Individuals who travel should monitor for symptoms and contact their medical provider if symptoms present. To further prevent the spread of coronavirus, individuals should wear face coverings when 6 feet of social distance cannot be maintained.
For CDC information related to domestic travel, visit //www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/travelers/index.html.
Therefore, employers should keep an employee’s medical condition and diagnosis confidential and private unless there are true health and safety circumstances deemed by the Department of Health. It is always the employee’s right to release and share their own medical condition information.
Employers may educate employees on how they can best protect themselves and what steps employees should take if they were exposed or experience symptoms. The Department of Health will conduct a trace and contact employee who may have been exposed and need to be quarantined.
The revised schedule allows students to have a week of preparation to finish final projects and study for final exams. If finals exams occurred prior to Thanksgiving, the academic experience would be significantly impacted and Northwest would not meet the contact hours required by its accreditation standards for the classroom experience.
Call Wellness Services and a staff member will screen you over the phone. If testing is needed Wellness Services will administer a test or send you for to a Mosaic medical center for testing. There is a cost for testing.
A public health official or Wellness Services will notify individual contacts who need to quarantine. If you are not contacted, there is no need to take additional precautions.
A student testing positive for COVID-19 is responsible for notifying their instructors that they will not return to class until further notice. The student is not required to provide the reason.
Wellness Services will notify the Office of Student Affairs that you are not to attend classes until further notice and will not provide a reason. This is part of Northwest’s normal procedure when students have an infectious disease, are hospitalized, or for other reasons.
If you are exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19, you have an obligation to stay away from others. It is important that you communicate with your instructors that you are not feeling well.
Call Wellness Services for screening and further guidance. Wellness Services may communicate to your instructors if you need to be excused from classes. Faculty will offer alternative learning opportunities if you have an approved absence from the Office of Student Affairs and Wellness Services.
You do not need to quarantine unless the roommate has symptoms. However, the roommate needs to isolate, and that means they should not have contact with anyone, including all roommates.
If your roommate develops symptoms, you should quarantine. A public health official or Wellness Services will contact you to provide guidance. If you are not contacted, there is no need to take additional precautions.
The links below are affiliated with state and federal health agencies and provide real-time updates, guidelines and other resources related to the coronavirus outbreak.
Co-curricular activities will continue to take place at Northwest, though they may be modified to meet COVID-19 mitigation measures.
During the spring 2020 semester, Northwest's Office of Student Involvement hosted a variety of virtual activities during the COVID-19 pandemic as well as guidance to help student organizations meet and continue fulfilling their objectives virtually.
Northwest’s fall semester will start on Wednesday, Aug. 19, as previously scheduled.
All face-to-face classes will begin meeting Wednesday, Aug. 19, and meet in in person for the last time on Tuesday, Nov. 24, before Northwest dismisses for Thanksgiving break. The week after the Thanksgiving break (Nov. 30 to Dec. 4) will be a preparation week for students.
All final exams will be online during the scheduled final exam week, Dec. 7-11. Exceptions to this schedule include evening classes and classes with resource-intensive instructional environments, which may use the preparation week for final assessment.
Northwest will have no classes, as previously planned, on Labor Day (Monday, Sept. 7) and Walkout Day (Friday, Oct. 9)
Northwest is not implementing changes to any courses already designated as online.
Northwest made the decision to move final exams online to maintain student learning while taking preventative measures to help protect the health and safety of our community in case of a virus outbreak.
Final exams or summative experiences may be synchronous or asynchronous depending upon the most optimal practice for student assessment in a given course.
All synchronous online final exams and summative educational experiences will occur during the day and time for which they are scheduled per the final exam schedule. Asynchronous final exams and educational experiences must be due by the end of the scheduled final exam day or time.
Students who need to be quarantined for health reasons will be accommodated with course delivery.
Attendance policies are determined by individual academic units. Students who self-report being symptomatic will be accommodated as an excused illness with course delivery.
Northwest will not implement the COVID-19 grade structure during the fall semester. However, accommodations will be made to ensure students whose academic progress may be impacted due to health reasons can continue their studies.
In situations where individuals choose not to wear a face covering, supervisors have been directed to have an interactive dialogue with the individual about Northwest’s expectations. Disciplinary action may take place if the individual refuses to comply.
Northwest custodial services is cleaning restrooms more frequently and providing disinfectant wipes for each restroom and stall.
Foot pedals have been added to restroom doors to help reduce contact with high-touch door surfaces.
Northwest is installing additional wall-mounted hand sanitizers in building locations as well as providing hand pump dispensers for office settings and portable stations for large gatherings.
Disinfectant spray and wipes also are being provided in areas throughout campus to help to employees and students clean touch surfaces after use.
Northwest is intensifying its disinfection efforts across the campus in accordance with guidelines shared by the CDC, the American College Health Association and other state universities.
Northwest is implementing a variety of measures to encourage social distancing on the campus that include moving and limiting the access to furniture in classrooms and gathering spaces as well as the installation of Plexiglas barriers in high-traffic workspaces.
Northwest is implementing mitigation guidelines to help keep students safe and will continue its requirement that first-year students live on campus.
Students who have medical concerns and may need accommodations for housing should work through the Office of Accessibility and Accommodations.
North Complex will be used as isolation and quarantine housing for students who, as determined by a health provider, are exhibiting coronavirus symptoms and cannot return home. Residential Life will make arrangements with those students for food delivery and other accommodations while they are quarantined.
In response to NCAA requirements for maximum and minimum allowable contests and dates for the 2020-2021 season, Bearcat athletics teams are playing reduced schedules. More details are available at //bearcatsports.com/.
Northwest has organized a Surveillance, Testing and Tracing Team that is planning for scenarios that include suspected and confirmed cases within the student population. This planning is being coordinated with medical professionals at Northwest as well as medical and public health professionals in our community and region.
Northwest did not change the start and end dates of the fall semester, so financial aid offers will not be adjusted.
Northwest will maintain a level of financial assistance that allows the University to remain an affordable college choice.
Northwest anticipates starting its spring semester as scheduled on Wednesday, Jan. 13, 2021, and an end date of Friday, May 7, 2021.
Effective March 12, Northwest has suspended non-essential University-supported travel until further notice (i.e. conferences, trainings, association meetings).
In regard to personal travel, Northwest urges its campus community to be mindful of the health risks, especially in geographic areas with widespread infection. Employees who travel should self-monitor for symptoms and follow their medical provider’s instructions, including a self-quarantine for 14 days if symptoms present.
Employees who have questions or need guidance about their travel plans should contact the Office of Human Resources at 660.562.1127 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Students living in residence halls will be charged the semester price because the halls will remain open for the duration of the semester, which ends Dec. 11.
At this time, Northwest has moved two core courses – General Psychology and Introduction to American Government and Politics – online due to the large capacity of those courses and to make the classroom space available for other courses.
Northwest continues to evaluate the delivery of its face-to-face courses.